Local schools improve but still earn low grades on annual report card

| June 12, 2013 | 5 Comments

For over a decade, Honolulu Magazine has published its comprehensive report card for each of Hawaii’s 255 public schools, ranking them with data collected from the Department of Education.

If schoolchildren brought home the grades given to Molokai’s six public schools, parents would probably start handing out groundings. Grades ranged from a “C+” to an “F” with Molokai High School receiving an “F” while Kaunakakai Elementary School was sent home with a “C+.”

Molokai High School did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress and received an 'F' on the state's annual report card of its schools.

Molokai High School did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress and received an ‘F’ on the state’s annual report card of its schools.


But with every Molokai school showing improvement in their total score compared to 2012, it’s hard to get too mad with the direction that public education is taking.

In grading schools, Honolulu Magazine states that they take into account two “main factors:” how much students are learning, and how happy everyone involved is at the way that learning is being accomplished.

Student performance is measured by results from the Hawaii State Assessment test that looks at the percentage of students performing at or above grade level in math and reading. To gauge happiness, the magazine looked at responses to the annually administered School Quality Survey to see how many of each of them report being satisfied, overall, with their school. Average these five factors together (surveys of teachers, parents and students combined with math and reading scores) and you get one total score.

Kaunakakai, earning a “C+,” gained more than 10 points over 2012 and ranked 77th in the state. One hundred percent of teachers surveyed were satisfied with the school. Student satisfaction measured 94.1 percent while parent satisfaction was 84.6 percent of those surveyed. The school is in good standing under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and met the Adequate Yearly Progress performance benchmarks. In reading, 68 percent of students tested proficient while 64 percent were proficient in math.

Kualapu‘u Elementary, Molokai’s only public charter school, earned a “C” grade, ranking it 114th in the state. While it showed a five-point improvement over last year, it did not meet NCLB or AYP benchmarks. It was also the only Molokai school to have a higher percentage of students proficient in math compared to reading. Overall, 54 percent of students were proficient in reading while 59 percent were proficient in math.

The failure of many Kualapu’u students in the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program to pass the HSA test pulled down the school’s overall scores. Many parents of HLIP students opted out of the test because of flaws in the makeup and administration of the test. Teachers at Kualapu’u were satisfied at a rate of 94.2 percent. Among parents surveyed, 97.5 were satisfied while 91.6 percent of students expressed satisfaction.

Placing 117th in the state was Maunaloa Elementary. The West End school received a “C” grade after showing a 15-point improvement this year. The school met its AYP and NCLB benchmarks with 73 percent showing proficiency in reading and 55 percent in math. Both teachers and parents were satisfied with the school at a rate of 91.7 percent. Students surveyed showed an 84.5 percent satisfaction.

Kilohana Elementary (rank 158) also earned a “C” grade after meeting its AYP and NCLB benchmarks. Teachers were 100 percent satisfied compared to only 57 percent of parents surveyed who were satisfied. Students were 83 percent satisfied. In reading and math, an identical 66.7 percent of students tested proficient.

Molokai Middle School, despite raising its 2012 ranking score by 19 points — the most of any Molokai school — still only earned a “D” grade, ranking it 183rd in the state. The school barely missed hitting the NCLB benchmark and did make its AYP goal. In reading, 62 percent of students were proficient; 61 percent in math. For satisfaction, teachers responded at an 81 percent rate, parents 76 percent and students 87 percent.

Molokai High School did not meet its NCLB or AYP benchmarks, hence its grade of “F.” It ranked 241st out of 255 schools. On the positive side, the overall score did improve more than nine points over last year. Satisfaction ratings were 85 percent for teachers, 80 percent for parents and 75 among students. In reading, 53.5 percent of high school students were proficient in reading while 28.7 were proficient in math.

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  1. Tereza Kristall says:

    It is no wonder why my son along with many other students are failing miserable at Molokai high school since they earned an F grade. The teachers there are lazy. They don’t help or work with students with their class work. It’s no wonder why a lot if kids scores low on the tests. I am ashamed that my child is a student there and I have to pulled him out of there before they really ruined his future!

  2. kalaniua ritte says:

    sometimes its not the teacher,but the students

    • molokainews says:

      True Ua, sometimes it is the student. A motivated student will do well in any school regardless of the teachers. A lazy or unmotivated student sometimes needs an inspiring teacher to ignite the inherent love of learning that I believe lies within everyone. That is why teaching is the most difficult, and most important, job in the world. Unfortunately, for some students in high school who have bad attitudes it is just too late and there is little hope.

  3. kalaniua ritte says:

    yeah alot of kids wit adhd an concentration problems,iwonder why………

  4. Mary Dudoit says:

    I agree with both of you gentlemen that students share some of that responsibility, and that teaching is a difficult and important job. However, let’s not forget those with the most important and difficult job…the parents. Parents are a child’s first teachers. It truly does take a village to raise a child. So, when a child “fails” academically, blame cannot be placed on just one. All must accept responsibility when it comes to our keiki, and then discuss what can be done to improve the situation. Just my thoughts.

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